(meditation after reading Rilke)

At fourteen i left home
for a catholic seminary,
in pre-dawn meditation 
i learned to sleep with my eyes
open and a book in my hand

Fifty-nine years later
i see death’s slow simmer
in the tremor of the book
i hold as i sit in the bee buzz
and bird song of a farm house
kitchen…is there something
left for me to become…could it
be the oriole’s song i hear
in the hackberry tree

I walk to base of the old hag
with all her drooping branches
and bitter fruit, pick up a stone
…become that stone, become the tree,
become the bird and fly
up above the top of the tree

Looking down at the old crone
she appears in all her crust,
and even in the sound of her crumble
i hear the voices of children